View Full Version : Brown unleashes big-play potential

09-25-2010, 01:29 AM
Brown unleashes big-play potential
Saturday, September 25, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 01222.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_701222.html)

From one young wide receiver to another, Mike Wallace expects big things from rookie Antonio Brown.

The first time he touched the ball in an NFL regular-season game, Brown scored on a 89-yard kickoff return in the Steelers' 19-11 win over Tennessee. During the preseason, Brown caught a 68-yard touchdown pass and displayed explosive moves as a punt returner.

Wallace believes Brown is ready to make an impact as a playmaking receiver.

"I told him to seize the moment. When they put you in, don't let them take you out," Wallace said. "That's the approach I took. I was like, 'Once I get in, I ain't coming out.' "

Wallace, a third-round draft pick from Mississippi, dazzled with his blazing speed and started five games in 2009. He finished with 39 receptions and tied for the team lead with six touchdown catches. His 19.4-yard average led the league.

Wallace attempted to compare his first season in the league with that of Brown, a sixth-round pick from Central Michigan who also has blazing speed and a knack for finding holes in the defense.

"He's waiting his turn. I truly believe as soon as he gets in, I don't think he's coming out," Wallace said about Brown, who may see action at wide receiver Sunday against Tampa Bay along with his return duties. "He goes hard at practice every day. He runs everything full speed. He has a lot of talent and a real high ceiling."

A late-round pick, Brown entered the league with a chip on his shoulder. He thought he should have been drafted higher, and he took great satisfaction in scoring a touchdown on the opening kickoff against the Titans, whom he met with prior to the draft.

"We knew we were going to sell (the kickoff return) the right way and get me on the edge. The team doesn't know who I am, they've never seen me. That was a great call by the coach and great blocks by the guys," Brown said. "That's what drives me. That's what keeps me hungry. That's why guys respect me, because they know I started at the bottom."

Wallace said Brown's teammates respect his willingness to accept coaching, even from teammates.

"He takes it all in. That's the main thing, you've got to be willing to learn and know that you don't know everything," Wallace said. "He's real humble and he's grounded."

And a willing pupil. Brown is still learning the nuances of the offense and how he fits in as a receiver. He knows it takes more than being fast and elusive to get on the field.

Being patient helps.

"You've got to have patience," Brown said. "The first week, I don't dress. I come back the next week, the first time I touch the ball I go the distance.

"I've been preparing, running my routes, getting extra catches, learning my plays, studying with Mike (Wallace), going over the protections," Brown said. "I think I'm ready, but the coach is taking it slow. He's got a common-sense approach. I'm waiting on coach. I'm going to keep working, and the rest will take care of itself."

09-25-2010, 10:26 AM
Brown is going to be an exciting receiver when he puts it all together. The only snap I saw him play in Tennessee, he was very late coming off the line of scrimmage in an obvious passing situation. He needs to polish some parts of his game. Then, I think we'll see more of him. Barring injury, I don't know if Sanders will see the field for a while.